Strategies in Retention Research. AIR 1997 Annual Forum Paper.Reportar como inadecuado

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This paper discusses the role of institutional researchers in changing attitudes within institutions of higher education on the importance of efforts to improve student retention. It describes activities undertaken at Virginia Tech to determine why students voluntarily withdraw from the university in the context of changing attitudes within the university. Kubler-Ross's five stages on death and dying are used as a model for attitude change at the institutional level. The five stages are: denial, hostility, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. Suggestions are made concerning how to assist the institution in moving through the five stages from denial to acceptance. These principles are illustrated with summaries of three studies at Virginia Tech: (1) a pilot study to obtain basic information on withdrawing students; (2) follow-up surveys of students who left after one year or less; and (3) a program of 18 specific projects to foster student success. Several challenges for institutional research are identified, including the role played in persuading individuals and stakeholders that student retention should be viewed as a strategic activity. Appendices provide additional detail on the surveys conducted at Virginia Tech and on the student success projects. (Contains 26 references.) (LEE)

Descriptors: Academic Persistence, Dropout Research, Educational Environment, Higher Education, Institutional Research, Outcomes of Education, School Attitudes, School Holding Power, Social Environment, Student Motivation, Withdrawal (Education)

Autor: McLaughlin, Gerald W.; Brozovsky, Paul; McLaughlin, Josetta S.


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